“Images from [[Mark Wieczorek and colleagues, Science]]. Top view shows near and farside hemispheres magnetic field from Lunar Prospector, and the bottom pair is topography from LRO altimeter. The white ellipses mark inner and outer boundaries of the South Pole-Aitken Basin. ”
Lunar Prospector in Clean Room by NASA on The Commons Via Flickr: (1997) The fully assembled Lunar Prospector spacecraft is shown mated atop the Star 37 Trans Lunar Injection module. Lunar Prospector represented the first NASA spacecraft to revisit the Moon in 25 years. In December of 1972 Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt were the last humans to set foot upon the Moon and the last NASA mission to visit the lunar frontier. On January 6, 1998 at 9:28 p.m., Lunar Prospector was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard a Lockheed Martin Athena II rocket.
Lunar Prospector mapped the Moon’s elemental composition, gravity fields, magnetic fields and resources. Prospector provided insights into the origin and evolution of the Moon. One of the most significant finds by Lunar Prospector was confirmation that there could be as much as 10 billion tons of subsurface frozen water near the Moon’s polar region. The Lunar Prospector mission came to a creative and daring conclusion when on July 31, 1999 at 2:52:00.8 a.m. PDT Mission Control Ames directed the spacecraft to a crash landing into a deep crater near the Moon’s South pole. The hope was that the impact might release trapped water vapor. However no visible debris plume was detected by numerous observatories monitoring the event. This lack of direct evidence has not diminished the hope or belief that subsurface frozen water does exist.
Image # : ACD97-0047-6
Cráteres de impacto del polo Sur de la Luna, cuyos interiores permanecen casi a oscuras desde hace millones de años, se creen que serían claves para determinar la presencia de agua helada. Este es un mosaico de imágenes adquiridas por el Advanced Moon Imaging Experiment, de la nave espacial Smart-1. Crédito y copyright de la imagen: ESA/SMART-1/equipo de la cámara AMIE; mosaico de imágenes: M.…
This science paper model is the Lunar Prospector spacecraft, designed by NASA Original Site.It is a simple version. The Lunar Prospector mission was the third selected by NASA for full development and construction as part of the Discovery Program. At a cost of $62.8 million, the 19-month mission was designed for a low polar orbit investigation of the Moon, including mapping of surface composition and possible polar ice deposits, measurements of magnetic and gravity fields, and study of lunar outgassing events.
The Lunar Prospector spacecraft was a graphite-epoxy drum, 1.36 m (4.5 ft) in diameter and 1.28 m (4.2 ft) high with three radial 2.5 m (8.2 ft) instrument booms. A 1.1 m (3.6 ft) extension boom at the end of one of the 2.5 m booms held the magnetometer. Total initial mass (fully fueled) was 296 kg (650 lb). It was spin-stabilized (nominal spin rate 12 rpm) with its spin axis normal to the ecliptic plane. The spacecraft was controlled by six hydrazine monopropellant 22-newton thrusters (two aft, two forward, and two tangential). Three fuel tanks mounted inside the drum held 138 kg (300 lb) of hydrazine pressurized by helium. The power system consisted of body-mounted solar cells which produced an average of 186 W and a 4.8 A·h rechargeable NiCd battery.
Communications were through two S-band transponders, a slotted, phased-array medium-gain antenna for downlink, and an omnidirectional low-gain antenna for downlink and uplink. The on-board computer was a Harris 80C86 with 64 kilobytes of EEPROM and 64 kilobytes of static RAM. All control was from the ground, the computer echoing each command to the ground for verification there. Once the command was ground-verified, an “execute” command from the ground told the computer to proceed with execution of the command.
The computer built telemetry data as a combination of immediate data and also read from a circular queue buffer which allowed the computer to repeat data it had read 53 minutes earlier. This simple solid-state recorder ensured that all data collected during communications blackout periods would be received, providing the blackout was not longer than 53 minutes.
The probe also carried a small amount of the remains of Dr. Eugene Shoemaker, astronomer and co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, to the moon for a space burial.